It’s hard for me to compare one shoe to another as I am in a different place and made adjustments as I moved along this path. I am unable to determine if the difference is in the shoe or in me. Perhaps that is why Dr. Craig Richard’s proposal to study running shoes makes sense after all.
Neither here nor there, I am going to tell you about my new shoes. For the most part, I like to go barefoot. There are places like work, the store, Monster Truck Jam when I feel (or am required) that wearing shoes is necessary. I find it most interesting how self-conscious we are about shoes or no shoes. No matter how crazy, or different, or daring we are, even us barefooters, are programmed to feel self-conscious about going without shoes. I have yet been reprogrammed. Thus, I bought another pair of shoes.
When I went barefoot, I kept my Adidas shoes for casual wear, turning the compost pile, or other emergencies. This past winter I resigned to the fact that I had no tolerance for sub-freezing temps and slushy, icy roads when wearing my VFFs. I sunk to wearing my Adidas for winter runs. Bah. I am fairly certain wearing those Adidas lead to the flare up of tendonitis that I have yet to resolve. Even wearing the Adidas for casual wear began to make my feet hurt more and more. As a result, I began my hunt for a minimalist shoe that I could wear for winter runs. Now that it is summer, I need a shoe for casual wear.
My latest purchase…. Merrell pace glove.
I do not intend to wear these shoes for the purpose in which they were designed, at least, not very often. I purchased these shoes for casual wear in the summer. See all the nice mesh upper? I have not had a stinky foot since purchasing them! This is very important because I tend to take my shoes off all the time, like, in the car. The 5 hour Memorial Day car ride was a bit unpleasant until I covered up my stinky feet.
I also tried on the Merrell Pure Glove. I was mad for the red ones. I have wide feet so I was very pleased with the fit of both shoes. However, I have to note that I fit into a 9 for the Pace but an 8.5 for the Pure based on width alone. It is not often that I have to go down a size due to width. Although, I went to the store for the Pure, I chose the Pace just because it seemed to feel better.
I was going to wait until I actually took them for a run before writing about them but the best you are going to get is a half hour of playing tag at the park with the Cub Scouts. I did a lot of short sprints and twists and turns. The shoes did well. They have a little bit of tread in them as you can see below. You can also see the dirt on the front of one shoe.
I’m already tired of writing this review as you are reading it. I’ll cut to the chase.
Things I like:
- The sole follows the curve of your foot. I feel like it hugs the ball of my foot.
- The width is fantastic
- They seem easier to walk in than VFFs. Not sure if this is a real benefit or if I have just learned how to adapt a barefoot stride to shoes. I do remember feeling awkward trying to walk in VFFs last summer. I have no problem waking barefoot but I seem to have a brain-shoe connection with my stride. This seems reduced when wearing my Paces.
- Love the look. They just look good plus they draw less attention to my minimalist style.
- The back hugs up around your heel. It is a fabric covered piece of elastic. Because I am going casual in these shoes, I leave them tied. The elastic heel allows me to just slip them on. I had a bit of irritation from rubbing on the heel but I think that would be reduced if I was tieing them as I’m supposed to be.
- When riding my bike, the grated edges of the pedals are less noticeable in the Paces than in the VFFs. I won’t wear the VFFs when riding my bike. The Paces are perfect.
- The sole is completely flexible unlike a lot of other shoes I have looked at.
Thinks I don’t like:
- They might be considered barefoot, but they are a shoe. period. They are not the same as going barefoot.
- I agree that it seems a bit silly to spend so much money on a shoe that is supposed to feel like it’s not a shoe but I’ve tried going with cheap shoes. I wore a pair of Payless ballet type tennis shoe last summer. I don’t know why but if you are going to wear a shoe, maximus or minimalist, you do get what you pay for.
In all, the Merrell Pace Glove is almost exactly what I was looking for in a casual minimalist shoe. I’ll keep my Miminus Lifers for cooler weather when my feet won’t stink so much. I’ll keep my VFFs for running on extreme surfaces. I’ll try to go barefoot as much as possible and stop spending so much money on shoes!